Faith Linking in Action

Who we are: Faith Linking in Action (FLIA) is a group of Bangor-area congregations, people of faith and community groups working together to “go upstream” to address the reasons people are falling into and getting stuck in poverty. Participants include most major faith traditions in our region. See bottom of page for more on our background.

What’s New

  • FLIA members were part of a small group who were invited to meet with Senator Susan Collins at her office in Bangor on April 12, 2017. During that meeting, we asked Senator Collins to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Providing Affordable Child Care for Everyone (PACE) Act of 2017, introduced by Senator Angus King. Senator Collins’ representative called Food AND Medicine’s office later that day to advise that she has agreed to sign on as a co-sponsor of this important bill. While this bill is not perfect, we consider this a huge victory!
  • FLIA Child Care Team member Roz Fisher submitted an Op Ed to the Bangor Daily News, which appears online on May 11, 2017 and in print on May 12, regarding Maine’s child care subsidy issues and what Maine can do to improve the process.
  • Our three Issue Teams are doing ongoing work on Transportation, Child Care and Jobs. If you are concerned with these issues, we need to hear from you!
  • Outreach to Congregations: You can help tremendously in this work by hosting a presentation/discussion at which active Faith Linking in Action participants from several faith communities could share the purpose of our work and ways to get involved. We can adapt the format and length to suit your needs. I would be happy to meet with you, your Board, your Missions Committee or other leadership group to discuss what this could look like in your congregation. We also appreciate your help publicizing our current projects in your newsletter, bulletin and/or with an announcement during or after your service. Click here for sample text for your newsletter.
  • Partnership with Bangor Daily News  In the fall of 2015, Faith Linking in Action kicked off a partnership with the Bangor Daily News to spur public discussion about the difference between Justice & Charity and the importance of both. We are coordinating both leaders and laypeople to write articles on questions including: How do various beliefs and backgrounds relate to the needs of people in poverty? What do charity and justice mean in today’s world? For example UU Society of Bangor member Joan Ellis writes about Public Transportation and Dr. Stan Moody of Columbia Street Baptist Church writes about prisons and incarceration.You can join the conversation! Submit a piece that’s no longer than 700 words to BDN editor Erin Rhoda at erhoda@bangordailynews.com.

 

Our Approach: We are learning and practicing faith-based community organizing, a method used by congregations across the US and world to improve the lives of their people and communities.

Faith-based community organizing:

  • Builds power through developing deep relationships in our communities
  • Supports ordinary people, including those in poverty, to become community leaders
  • Researches the root causes of  problems to engage with decision-makers in our region to find innovative solutions to issues facing our region.

 

Background: In 2012, Food AND Medicine began facilitating and  serving as host organization for Faith Linking in Action as part of our mission is to build a livable region where nobody has to choose between food, medicine and other basic needs.

To learn more about the process of faith-based community organizing, I encourage you to view these videos below and share them with others, or to contact Faith Linking in Action Organizer Martin Chartrand at martin@foodandmedicine.org:

  • An overview of faith-based organizing from PICO (People Improving Communities through Organizing), a national network of faith-based community organizations that has inspired and offered guidance for our work in Faith Linking in Action. Click here to view.
  • An article and radio interview about POWER, a group of faith communities in Philadelphia who have just successfully walked the path we are walking of building a multi-faith organizing group to “go upstream” and address the reasons why people fall into poverty in their community. Click here to view.
  • Short video of Fr. Michael Jacques, Catholic priest and leader of a faith-based organizing project in New Orleans, LA, speaking at a Faith Linking in Action event in Bangor on May 15, 2013. This was shot and edited by Food AND Medicine volunteer Jaric Fontaine. Click on image at right to view.